Adapting to delivering workshops and events online during Lockdown has worked far better than expected! In June 2020, two of our groups held public events for Migration Matters’ first ever online festival.
Getting to this point has taken some effort. All our projects focus on participants escaping isolation to build mental wellbeing within group settings as they learn and make music together. So it’s no surprise that Lockdown has thrown up massive challenges for everyone involved in our programmes.
Many of our refugee participants are housed in temporary accommodation which they often feel the need to escape by going outside, or go to different places to access support. The lockdown has prevented this, and halted the provision of many support services, putting further strain on already fragile mental health.
However, our Everyday People programme with The British Red Cross’ Young Refugee Service, and Stone Flowers, for survivors of torture, have been able to carry on.
After extensive planning and testing we trialled a new model to deliver sessions via Zoom. We experimented with fun and exciting new ways to engage musically with each other online, share ideas, and create new pieces through exchanging recordings of melodic parts, and piecing different elements together into beautiful and inspiring songs.
Though live performance wasn’t possible, Migration Matters Online Festival was an amazing opportunity to open up the experience of our new online sessions to a wider audience. It was also a chance for Stone Flowers and Everyday People to demonstrate that creating music, achieving incredible results, and connecting with an audience is still possible at this time!
Hear Stone Flowers’ new song about finding strength and hope during lockdown here.
Hear Everyday People’s new song about missing loved ones, demand for free movement and open borders in the future here.
The creativity of both groups has inspired us to continue experimenting with online work as long as restrictions continue. We hope they inspire you also! Please donate to enable isolated refugees to access our online services during lockdown.